Cornell Set

Complete Work Title: 

Cornell Set — four poems with computer music


Performance Medium: 

poetry reading with computer music


Movements: 

I. Gorge Dweller: Evensong I (Tacey M. Atsitty)
II. Elegy for a Car (Clayton Pityk)
III. What is Broken (Benjamin Garcia)
IV. In Mid-Autumn: Shanxi Province 2007 (Elizabeth Lindsey Rogers)


Duration: 

c.8:00


Date Composed: 

December 2010 - April 2011


Performance Information: 

The 4-channel computer music requires Max/MSP or pure data for performance


Additional Information: 

• Commissioned by the Cornell University Department of English.
• Included on the album Improbable Encounters (innova 873, 2014).


Performance History: 

Joseph Klein, recitation:
• 21 October 2015; Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts (Brno, Czech Republic)
• 24 June 2015; Abrons Center (New York City, NY) — New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival

Stephen Morscheck, recitation:
• 18 March 2014; University of North Texas (Denton, TX)

Elizabeth Pearse, recitation:
• 19 October 2013; Bowling Green State University (Bowling Green, OH) — 34th Annual BGSU New Music Festival

Joseph Klein, recitation:
• 20 October 2012; Living Arts of Tulsa OK Electric Festival (Tulsa, OK)
• 26 May 2012; Sichuan Conservatory of Music (Chengdu, China)

David Jaffe, recitation:
• 1 March 2012; Connecticut College (New London, CT) — 13th Biennial Arts and Technology Symposium

Heidi Dietrich Klein, recitation:
• 3 October 2011; University of North Texas (Denton, TX)

Tacey M. Atsitty, Clayton Pityk, Benjamin Garcia, & Elizabeth Rogers — recitation:
• 15 April 2011; Cornell University (Ithaca, NY), presented as part of the Department of English Reading Series [premiere]


Program Notes: 

In the spring of 2010, I was contacted by poet and Cornell University English Professor, Alice Fulton — whose poems I had set to computer music several years earlier — about undertaking a similar project with the second-year MFA poetry students in Cornell’s Creative Writing Program. A dozen poems were submitted for consideration, from which four — each by a different poet — were selected for this collection. The poems were chosen for their contrasting content and style, allowing for a variety of approaches in the computer music setting as well. Specific references in the text provided the impetus for many of the processed sounds (e.g., cars and dogs in the Pityk poem, birds and rain in the Garcia poem); in some cases, the text reading itself provided the source material (this occurs to some degree in each setting, though the computer music in the Atsitty poem is based entirely on a reading of the text by the poet).

Cornell Set was commissioned by the Creative Writing Program and the Department of English at Cornell University. The work was first performed by poets Tacey M. Atsitty, Clayton Pityk, Benjamin Garcia, and Elizabeth Rogers on 15 April 2011 at Cornell University. It is included on the album Improbable Encounters (innova 873, 2014).